Calgary Minor Basketball Association cancels fall season as school gym rentals halted

CALGARY — The Calgary Minor Basketball Association has scrapped its fall season due to a lack of gym availability through the end of 2020.

Public rentals of Calgary Board of Education, Calgary Catholic School District and Onseil Scolaire Franco-Sud school gymnasiums have been halted until Dec. 31, 2020.  

According to City of Calgary Recreation — the agency which facilitates the rental of school gymnasiums — the decision was made in order to “allow the school jurisdictions to focus upon the health and safety of students and staff as in class learning resumes.”

The season cancellation was announced on the CMBA website.

It is with great regret that due to these gym cancelations, and the current Phase 2 sport health rules in place, that the CMBA Association has been forced to cancel the Fall 2020 Season.  In 40 seasons of CMBA play there has never been a canceled or suspended season. This has been a difficult time for all the people involved with the CMBA and the Member Associations. 

The CMBA Board of Directors will review a potential January 2021 season as more information is provided by the Province of Alberta and the City of Calgary.  We will keep you updated and do everything we can to get a season going as soon as we are able and it is safe for all involved with our league.

Carey Blaskin of the CMBA says the decision of the school board puts the association — which currently has 4,500 players and a total of more than 1,000 referees, coaches and volunteers — in an awkward position.

“We’re very responsible and so we’re going to survive financially,” explained Blaskin. “But where our concerns are, as a board, is that these young players, both boys and girls, aren’t going to be able to register this year to play. They’re going to find something else to do.

“Do I lose those kids next year when we are able to open up?”

Blaskin says while there is availablity at private facilties — including YMCAs, Repsol Centre and private schools — there aren’t enough gyms to accommodate the 40 to 50 gyms CMBA would require to host its regular slate of Saturday games.

“We understand why the school board is doing it. We’re not upset that they made that decision. We’re just upset that we don’t have an opportunity to play in the 2020 season.”

City of Calgary Recreation says a potential resumption of school gym rentals will be reviewed in the fall.

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